Xin Ran Liu
Teacher Artwork by Xin Ran Liu
Xin Ran Liu - Lead Artist and Art Director
“I think [being self-taught] is a crucial part of being a good artist. You're always growing. You gotta be curious and always look[ing] for new knowledge out there."
In This Episode…
Anthony, Stephen and Bing chat with Xin about his upcoming game Moon Hunters as well as the indie game industry and the importance of crowdfunding. A lot of insight is given into how an indie game is made and what is required to do so, in terms of funding, marketing, skillsets and, most importantly, the drive and the persistence to learn. This episode includes a broad range of topics such as virtual reality, top-secret technology and 3D printing, along with lots of games and art (of course). We dive headfirst into the geekiest of topics and Xin also gives invaluable learning tips for the aspiring artist and entrepreneur. Listen on for some special announcements as well!
Xin Ran Liu is a concept artist and illustrator who has worked for several years in the video game industry and in publishing. He is currently lead artist and art director at Kitfox Games. His credits include Mafia Wars, Shattered Planet and Moon Hunters. He is also a popular teacher at Syn Studio.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
[01:20] What is Moon Hunters?
[05:50] The explosion (or implosion?) of Kickstarter and crowdfunding
[07:50] Xin’s previous game, Shattered Planet
[13:45] The funding and marketing process for making indie games
[22:00] Art in Shattered Planet vs Moon Hunters: painted vs pixelized
[28:00] Values, contrasts and elements of art and how it should harmonize
[32:00] The stories in video games: how to be innovative
[36:00] Xin’s background and the mindset behind his accomplishments
[42:30] What is required to start a video game company in the indie scene
[44:00] Being both artist and art director: how to develop an additional perspective on your own work
[47:10] The two main approaches to drawing and which is most useful for concept art
[53:10] What students should do or stop doing that would yield a lot of progress
[55:10] How do you know if you are suited for indie games?
[01:01:05] Exciting experiences with Virtual Reality
[01:14:00] The process of character design for Moon Hunters
[01:22:40] Equipment talk! Xin’s work station and Wacom tablets
[01:24:10] Xin’s favourite recent video games
[01:33:10] Cool new things going on at Syn Studio!
[01:43:45] Xin’s origin story… how he became a professional artist at such a young age
[01:51:20] Advice to a (relatively) younger Xin and closing comments
Links you’ll like…
Xin Ran Liu
Video Games Mentioned
- Golden Axe
- Fallout 4
- The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
- Cities XXL
- Life is Strange
- Rocket League
- Samurai Gun
- Screen Cheat